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Full text of "The "new" skating : of ancient Greek form, of early American invention, of late European development : the international system newly expounded and adapted to American conditions / by George H. Browne."

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International Style 




Note the resemblance of the Modern Champion, 
Gustav Hugel of Vienna, in Good International Form, 
to the Ancient Greek Athlete, the Bortfhese in th«> 
Louvre. Photographs by Irving Brokaw % N. Y., Amer- 
ican Champion^ 1906. 

The "New" 





The International System 

Newly Expounded and Adapted to 

American Conditions 



Cambridge Skating Club 

The Eastern amateur Skating Asso'n 

The International Skating Club 

Davos, Switzerland 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 
Reprinted for the Author 




The Browne and Nichols Schoot 
Cambridge, Mast. 


IF JACKSON HAINES had never left this country 
(or had ever come back), with his round-toed, two- 
stanchion skate, the U. S. A. might still be leading 
the skating world, as it did in the '70's. As it is, the 
acrobatic, small curved style that prevailed over the 
dancing-master's graceful curves and rhythmic move- 
ments, in the early days of the pointed, three-stan- 
chion club-skate, has put America out of the world's 
skating, into a class by itself. To-day the American 
style has no international standing ; but the European 
development of the American style, which was ban- 
ished in 1864, has become the accepted standard of all 
the great skating nations of the world ; and the Jack- 
son Haines skate is used by nearly all the best skaters 
of Europe. In order to awaken interest in the Inter- 
national Style, which has at last been recognized by 
the Skating Union of America, the following con- 
densed exposition is offered for use on the ice. 

My directions are non-partisan — without the bias, 
gloating or recriminating, of a favored or an ill-appre- 
ciated contestant. They are based on a critical study 
of the literature of the subject; on discussions on the 
ice and subsequent correspondence with the best ex- 
ponents of the art ; and on personal observation, with 
the camera, of their performance in private and in 
championship competition. 

I regret that Mr. Irving Brokaw's sumptuous Art 
of Skating was not published in season for me to make 
more use of it ; my first three chapters were already in 
print before it appeared, but I am indebted to Mr. 
Brokaw for permission to use several of his copy- 
righted photographs. For this courtesy, for fresh 
information which he and other friends abroad have 
given me of developments since my visit, and especially 
to The Youth's Companion for facilitating this reprint, 
with additions, I make most grateful acknowledgment. 

November 20, 1909. G. H. B. 


(See page 10.) 

(Cotf RTESY op Irving Brokaw, N. Y., to whom the 
author is also indebted/or permission to use copyrighted 
photographs, Figs. 15, 17-20, 28-31, 38, L6-l>9, 52, and 55 i 
and to Edgar Syers, London, for photographs, Figs. 
32, 36, 37, 39, W, U, and 1*5.) 


/. Preliminary. 



STRIKING developments have taken place 
in the last few years in the art of skating. 
The theory of the art has been made so 
simple, and the exposition of the theory so clear 
and practical, that boys and girls may learn to 
skate from printed directions if they once think 
it worth while to try. The best analyses and 
expositions have been made by the English, the 
Germans and the Swedes, who in the last twenty 
years have outstripped the Americans— the 
nation that led the skating world for years, and 
easily might again. 

The International Skating Union, founded 
nearly twenty years ago, is composed of the 
skating associations of more than a dozen coun- 
tries. The fixtures for important foreign com- 
petitions number from twenty to thirty every 
season. The most important are for the cham- 
pionship of Europe and the championship of 
the world. These contests consist of at least 
three parts : 1. A selection of prescribed figures 
from the official International Skating Union 
program, called " the school skating." 2. Five 
minutes' free skating to music at the choice of 
the contestant. 3. Special figures (original). 

When, a few years ago, Mrs. Syers of Lon- 
don, by finishing second in a world's champion- 
ship competition, demonstrated that one woman, 
at least, could skate better than most men, some 
of the men who had never seen her skate pro- 
tested that the regular entry of women would 
eventually reduce the pace and quality of the 
best skating. 


Accordingly, a separate championship con- 
test was instituted for women; also one for 
pairs, and one for groups. No international 
competition has yet taken place in group ska- 
ting; but there has been a great development 
in the popularity, and consequently in the 
^quality, of other forms of skating. 

The Term " Skating.' ■ 

THUS at the very beginning we must en- 
large our common conception of the term 
" skating." It presupposes, of course, 
plain skating— a thrust with one foot and a 
glide on the other, usually on the inside edge ; 
and generally, in the United States, with head 
down, body bent, arms swinging every which 
way. It is good fun, no doubt, just getting 
over the ice "any old way," aimlessly knock- 
ing a block or a stone about, playing tag, or 
what not— but obviously our skating is more 
than that. 

Skating includes speed skating and hockey, — 
thoroughly commendable ice sports, — skilful, 
lung-filling, eye-, hand-, and leg-training sports, 
— absorbingly attractive to young America, who 
loves a game, loves competition that can be tan- 
gibly and fairly measured, loves to * 'get there" 
—and "get there" before somebody else. But 
you do not dance, for example, to get there; 
and dancing, too, has its attractions for some. 
The skating we have in mind bears a relation 
to plain skating and hockey skating similar to 
that which dancing bears to walking and run- 
ning— how you do it is quite as important as 
what you do it for. 

Few girls can play hockey; all boys do not 
wish to; and no boy or girl can both play 
hockey and skate gracefully on the same flat 
hockey skates. Besides, exclusive or prepon- 
derant indulgence in hockey tends to dull the 
sense for good form and incapacitate for graceful 
movements. Finally, many skating clubs do not 
allow hockey-playing at all. What, then, shall 
the great majority of skaters do with their increas- 
ing opportunities to become graceful skaters? 

In the skating we have in mind, there is an 
element of beauty. That word immediately 
makes some of you shy. "Oh, he means 'fancy 
skating' ! But I can never cut my name, do 
cross-cuts and pig's ears, grape-vines and one- 
foot 'fancy stunts.' I'm no crank." 

It is not surprising that these small-curved, 
kicked figures loom big in young America's 
eyes, for they are characteristic of the best 
skating he has probably ever seen. The Amer- 
ican and Canadian figures are a legitimate type 
of skating, can be skated to place with wonder- 
ful precision, and require great skill and tedious 
practise to master; but although showy, they 
are rarely graceful, they are not progressive,— 
almost every figure has to be learned by itself, 
— and they are therefore of secondary impor- 
tance in the "new" skating. 

What the "New" Skating Is. 

FOK skating viewed from this standpoint 
of grace and beauty, we have always 
thought we had a significant name in 
"figure skating." But that term now seems 
generally to imply that the object of artistic 
skating is merely to cut on the ice little designs 
like those mentioned above. To be sure, a 
correct print is a prime requisite of accomplished 
skating ; but it does not follow that if the print 
is good, the rest of the skating has necessarily 
been good, too. The print of a big curve or 
turn requires accuracy, is as much a figure as 
an intricate pattern ; but a correct curve or turn 
may sometimes be made with an incorrect posi- 
tion of the body, or of some part of it. 

Now the great virtue of the new skating is 
that out of the conflicting experience of many 

schools of skating, it has formulated a perfect 
working system of correct body and foot work, 
so that the learner may know just how to, 
manage, at every stage, every movement con- 
tributing to the attainment of both graceful 
carriage and correct print, big as well as little, 
at the same time. The Germans have a more 
expressive name for this art than we, Kunst- 
laufen,— artistic skating, or skating as a fine, 
art,— skating that appeals to the esthetic sense 
as well as to the desire to excel, to win, and 
yet is very practical withal, scientific, and 
systematically progressive, and therefore not 
difficult to learn. 

After Plain Skating Is I/earned. 

FIG. 2. 

FIQ. 3. 

FIG. 4. 

FIQ. 5. 

THE skating we have in mind, then, is not 
so much a competitive sport as a grace- 
ful accomplishment and healthful, recre- 
ation for boys and girls, well worth a half- 
hour's practise every available skating day, 
and attainable in that time, if followed sympa- 
thetically and systematically, according to the 
suggestions following. 

We assume that the reader has already- 
achieved plain skating, the outside and inside 
edge rolls, at least, and perhaps threes. But 
we suspect that on the r o f (right outside edge, 
forward— Fig. 3) your left shoulder (with left 
hip and free leg) begins to come forward from 
the very beginning of the curve; and for 
the three-turn, with such rapid rotation that the 
first curve has no appreciable length, and the 
curve after the turn no length at all— it curls 
right in toward the center. • 

We suspect, too, that you begin your rif 
(Fig. 4) square front, or right shoulder for- 
ward, and that you maintain your balance by 
straddling your free leg somewhere in toward 
the center; but just where, or just how you 
carry your arms, head, and free foot, in any of 
the movements, you probably cannot tell. 

Now it cannot be denied that you skate an 
outside and an inside edge and perhaps a three ; 
but such manner of skating will never advance 
you into any other figure or combination— least 
of all, "cut any ice" in the skating of the 
future. Why? Because another style has in- 
ternational standing, and yours has not; and 
because, even if you have control of your edge, 
you do not utilize it so that your figures are 
part of any progressive system. What is new 
about the new skating is chiefly system and 
method ; the principle is as old as the laws of 

No boy or girl has ever jumped off a moving 
trolley-car without appreciating the law that a 
moving body tends to continue in a straight line 
(centrifugal force) ; or, with hands off the handle 
bars, has leaned sidewise on a moving bicycle 
without resolving the straightforward motion 
into a curve (centripetal force). Now, if the 

human body on a skate were in as stable equi- 
librium even as a boy on a moving bicycle, or 
if the center of gravity were a fixed point in a 
uniform moving mass, the skating problem 
would be simple, and skating movements as 
regular as the walking-beam of an old side- 
wheeler— and about as poetical. 

The multiplicity of moving parts of the human 
body on skates, while it complicates the prob- 
lem for the beginner, is the source of the 
fascination and the secret of the beauty of ska- 
ting. The art consists in unifying the movements 
of all the parts into a cooperative conformity to 
physical law, so that the resulting movement is 
accurate, effortless and graceful. The art is 
long, but the statement of the theory is short. 

The fundamental element of school skating, 
as the prescribed figures are called, is the 
curve. Since these prescribed figures are all in 
the form of eights, this curve must be prolonged 
into a circular curve, whether broken by a turn 
or not. If, now, after a vigorous start, you 
throw your body into a fixed position for a 
continuous curve on one edge, you will not, 
with this simple initial swing, come round to 
the starting-point ; but as power and pace fail, 
you will curl in toward the center in a spiral 
curve of diminishing radius. In order to finish 
in a full circle, you must increase your original 
swing with some supplementary motive power. 
Where is it to come from? The answer to 
this question is the key to the whole situation. 

There are several movements by which you 
can increase your power or alter your curve 
after you have started ; namely, the movements 
(1) of the head— you will be surprised to learn 
how much the prosperity of some figures de- 
pends upon the way you are looking; (2) of 

the shoulders, the rotation of which (l to E 
balled "wind" or " screw" ; r to l, "unwind" 
or "unscrew" rotation) is materially affected 
by raising, swinging, or bending the arms ; (3) 
of the hips (wind or unwind rotation), with 
the free foot swinging passively, by the leg, 
from the hip-joint; (4) of the active free leg, 
bent, stretched, or swung (but never curled 
up) ; (5) of the skating leg, bent or stretched (it is 
of vital importance that the knee be "springy") ; 
and (6) of the skating foot, inclined, raised from 
the heel or toe, or rotated from the ankle. 

The Three Different Styles. 

FKOM the different employment of these 
assisting elements, and from the differ- 
ent apportionment and 
distribution of the power 
derived from them, — due 
partly to different national 
temperaments and partly to 
different types of skates,— 
have arisen the three styles 
of skating of to-day, of 
which the extremes are the 
American and the English. 
The American style puts 
almost no restrictions oh the 
use of any available assisting 
movement, fixes no official 
standard of form or execu- 
tion, and insists only upon 
ian accurate print, which may 
be made with almost as 
many different combinations 
fof these cooperative forces fig. e. 

as there are individual per- ffffiL^ ggffl£ 

formers. Davos, 1903, * 


Miss Squire learning the 
International style, Berlin. 
Note the free foot and arms. 

FIG. 7. 

The English style, on the other hand, for- 
bids any assistance from the movement of the 
arms, the swinging of the free leg, or the 
bending of the skating leg. The skating leg is 
always stiff ; the unemployed leg, as they aptly 

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson (Miss Squire), Champions 
of the World in Pairs, Stockholm, 1909. 

call it after the thrust, must touch the skating 
leg ; and the arms, with elbows turned in, must 
hang loosely or slightly bent. (Fig. 5. ) 

This stiff, erect pose facilitates the cutting of 
big curves (in a first-class test, a curve of fifty 
feet is required before and after a turn) ; and 
the elimination of the swing of the free foot 
makes combined skating close to a center at a 
rapid pace safe for even large groups of skaters. 
But this style offers few attractions to the 
American temperament, and by no stretch of 
imagination can it be called easy and graceful. 

The International style is the European de- 
velopment of American skating carried to the 
Continent in the winter of 1864-5 by Jackson 
Haines of New York. Being a dancing-master, 
he had less enthusiasm than his contemporaries 
for the invention of one-foot continuous figures 
in small kicked circles. His temperament 
affected showy display, too, but in long, grace- 
ful curves or in dance strokes and steps. 

He found a sympathetic field in Vienna and 
other Continental cities, and his style spread all 
over Europe. Enriched by new figures of 
American and English invention, and modified 
by Austrian, German, Russian and Swedish 
schools, in the direction of still larger curves 
and a uniform and systematic use of the free 
leg and other assisting movements, it has been 
officially adopted by every great skating country 
except the United States, where it originated. 
The American champion of 1906, Mr. Irving 
Brokaw of New York, is the first American 
competitor to qualify in the International style. 

Before entering upon the practical details of 
this composite style, let me call attention to one 
principle of each contributing style that demands 
of the beginner special physical training. 


1. The "spread-eagle" of American skating 
opens out the ankles — indispensable for good 
curves after turns, and useful for all figures. 
It is not necessary to be able to turn both feet 
out at once, as in Figs. 9, 10; but the nearer 
you can come to it the better. 

FIG. 9. 

"Spread-Eagle," "Spread-Eagle." 

American style. International style. 

Mr. J. F. Bacon. Dr - Gilbert Fuehs. 

2. The sidewise attitude prescribed by the 
English style provides the best possible aid 
for opening out your curves. Flattening the 
shoulders, or rotating the plane of the body into 
the plane of the skate, I shall call " Englishing" 
the shoulders— an indispensable accomplishment 
on the ice, which may be attained on the floor. 

3. The bending and stretching of the skating 
leg of Continental skating provides (combined 
with 1 and 2) the motive power for all one-foot 
skating and the essential means of deftly cut- 
ting clean turns without loss of "go." (The 
movement is like a one-foot hop, but either the 
toe or the heel stays on the ice — most important. ) 


By simple gymnastic exercises, with or with- 
out skates on, before the ice comes, you may 
develop these three important muscular func- 
tions, not usually employed in walking, but 
absolutely essential to the very elements of 
our skating; thus, stand on the right foot, 
leg slightly bent, and stretch the left leg way 
round behind and across, also slightly bent 
itself but not curled up, toeing down and out. 
Tilt forward, from the ankle, and "unscrew" 

FIGS. I I AND 12. 

Screw rotation. 

Eight outer forward. 

your shoulders and hips as far as you can. 
(If you also tilt a little sidewise to the b, 
you are in an exaggerated position f or b o f 
just after the thrust Now slowly screw the 
trunk round, from shoulder to hip, rocking the 
body back at the same time, and gradually 
stretch the standing leg as the free foot is 
wound way round forward and across, still 
toeing down but in. Now step on to the left 
and reverse. (Exercise the rotator muscles 


and ankle by twisting to the limit each way 
on one foot until tired. Also, with, free foot 
way back, and way forward, dip and rise on 
the standing leg. ) 

Again, begin on the right foot, leg bent, but 
this time with the left shoulder far forward and 
left arm reaching out in front. Stretch the free 
foot out behind and across, toes pointing down. 
If you tilt a little sidewise to the l, you are in 
position for bif, just after the thrust, Fig. 5. 

Unscrew rotation. 

FIGS. 13 AND 14. 

Right inner forward. 

Now unscrew the shoulders slowly, rocking 
the body backward and gradually straightening 
the standing leg as you pull the free foot for- 
ward close to the other and across again, toes 
down and heel out, knee bent. Step on to the 
left foot and reverse, like Mrs. Syers, Fig. 1 

Practise these exercises to the limit of rota- 
tion, resisting all you can (for training), and 
you will be ready to take up the general prin- 
ciples of the curves and turns on the ice. 


//• The Four Edges and Turns. 

The Fundamental Element. 

THE circular curve, in its four forms, out- 
side (o) and inside (i) edge, forward (f), 
and backward (b), is, as we have seen, 
the one fundamental element of artistic skating. 
Since these regular curves are skated larger in 
the International style than in the American, 
you must begin on the ice with learning to open 
out your curves by "Englishing" your shoulders 
(nearly into the plane of your skate), stretching 
out your free leg behind,* slightly bent, toes 
turned down and out, and gradually stiffening 
your previously bent skating leg, as the slow 
rotation of your body (arms, shoulders and hips) 
pulls your free foot round in front. It is good 
practise to take a vigorous start (plain skating), 
throw the body into a plastic pose— shoulders 
flat, head looking in the direction of progress, 
free foot "bearing against the curve" (Fig. 15), as 
Salchow used to tell me ; i.e., crossed over, inside 
of outer curves, and outside of inner curves, and 
hold the spiral just as long as you can in good 
form. I have seen Salchow begin a free-skating 
program as if shot out of a gun, hold a b i f 
spiral for one hundred and fifty yards or more, 
and still at a good pace, change to a b o f, and 
make a rocker jump to the bob in good form ! 

* For the sake of brevity and uniformity, the curve in 
mind, unless otherwise specified, is always the rop. 
The beginner is warned, however, not to become 
thereby a right-footed or a forward skater only, but 
to practise on each foot both ways; for the descrip- 
tion, properly reversed, will apply equally well to the 
other edges. 


These long spirals are as good— gymnastic— 
practise for developing on the ice control of your 
edge as your previous exercises on the floor are 
good for developing the muscles required; but 
the exaggerated pose (which affords critics and 
unsympathetic imitators amusing material for 
caricature) is quite uncalled for in the school 


Since, however, the school figures are all in 
eights, and since beginners are always advised 
to practise only in the prescribed form, and to 
skate as large as possible, the rotation necessary 
to bring big curves round into perfect circles 
compels momentarily wider-spread arms and 
feet than we are used to. But everything vio- 
lent, jerky or stiff is to be avoided, and effort 
should be made to show no effort— ars celare 


The Plain Eights. 

LL eights are started from rest. After one 
thrust (from the blade, never from the 
point), the thrusting foot on f curves drops 


across behind the skating foot, on b curves across 
in fron t. On r o f and rib, the rotation of the 
shoulders is "wind" or "screw"; on rif and 
r o b, "unwind" or "unscrew" (Fig. 16). In the 
R o f, r i b, therefore, the l shoulder should be 
behind ; in the r i f, r o b, in front, at the start. 

Vn*r~t»t Jcrru 

A, Serpentine ; B, Forced curve ; c, Three ; D, Mocker ; 
E, Counter; F, Bracket. 

fc^-v.,--,. "'' : ''^' ;;il 


On o edges the free foot follows its own hip 
and shoulder almost passively ; on i edges, being 
nearer the center, the free foot, on account of the 
balance, is carried, by the rotation and the rock 


of the body at the hips, in an opposite direction 
from its own hip and shoulder, therefore not 
without some activity on its own part. (Figs. 17, 




Theoretically, the free foot should swing by 
just half through the circle. Practically, this is 
true only of i f. On o f the balance, swing 
and size are better if the free foot is kept back 
until the last quarter. 

On b edges it is anatomically easier to keep 
your balance with the free foot behind than in 
front ; but you must begin with it in front. 
The b push-off from rest is weak. In order to 
gain initial momentum, therefore, you must 
throw your body courageously into the new 
plane of motion with the full force of all your 
weight. To keep your balance, under these cir- 
cumstances, it seems necessary to start the first 
b curve with the shoulders all wound up (or 
unwound ; i.e., with the wrong shoulder behind), 
and to pull the free foot back by the twist in the 


hip, early in the circle. It is easier to maintain 
the normal shoulder rotation on o b than on i b ; 
and easier on both after you get going. (Figs. 19, 

The school eights, furthermore, are all alternate- 
foot, not continuous one-foot figures ; therefore, 
you must early acquire the knack of carrying 
over to each succeeding circle just as much of the 
previously acquired swing and "go" as you can. 
A short change of edge may occur at the transi- 

FIG. 19. R I B, START. FIG. 20. ROB, START. 

The i f eight is the easiest to do in good form, 
the i b the hardest. The secret of success is to 
begin with bent skating leg, "English" the 
shoulders nnto position for the right gradual 
rotation from the beginning of the circle, gently 
rock the body as the skating leg straightens, 
and, wherever possible, let the free foot "bear 
against the curve." (See Figs. 1, 8, 11-14, 50, 51.) 


The Turns. 

THE turns, changes of direction or of front on 
one foot, either with or without change of 
edge, are of two kinds : (1) turns on a curve ; 
i. e., the curve after the turn is only a continuation 
of the curve before; (2) turns connecting two 
different curves, which theoretically should be 
skated as independent curves, in spite of the turn. 
Of the first kind are threes and loops— body at 
the turn in equilibrium ; of the second, the rock- 
ing turns: rockers, counters and brackets— the 
body at the turn out of equilibrium. 

The Serpentine, or Change of Edge. 

THERE is another even more important con- 
necting element, not strictly a turn, be- 
cause neither a full change of direction 
nor of front— only a change of edge on one foot, 
but the most valuable stroke in artistic skating. 
It is the motor of nine-tenths of it, and more 
useful than a helping hand to avoid a fall. 

It is a push, pry (or a pull, b), by the skating 
leg itself between the ice and the body, out of 
equilibrium. The friction of the ice, however, 
is so slight that the force of the push resolves 
itself into a sudden acceleration of speed, and 
the skating foot darts f (or b) under the body to 
restore the equilibrium. The knack is in utili- 
zing the new speed and getting the weight into 
the new swing at just the right time to lose none 
of either. The most useful aids are the spring 
of the skating knee and the English of the 
shoulders. The free foot is used only for bal- 
ance, not kicked, as in American and Canadian 
skating for power. (Figs. 21-23.) 


Just before the change, the shoulder nearer 
the center is drawn sharply back, the skating leg 
bends deep, and with a push clear from the 
shoulders, hops, as it were, on to the other edge 
without leaving the ice; at the same time the 
free foot, which has been carried crossed over 
behind (or in front, Fig. 21), swings f (or b) and 
crosses over again for balance just as the skating 
leg settles down into the new edge. It is all one 

FIG. 22. 

FIG. 21. 

Frl. Elsa Rendschmidt, 
Berlin. I. S. U. Cham- 
pion of 1900. 

FIG. 23. 

swing— no noise, no hitch or jerk in the move- 
ment of either foot— except, perhaps, that the 
bite of the edge before the change causes a trifle 
more acceleration than the bite after the change. 
Don'*' Kick* Take as much weight as you 
Can off the ice at the change, and put as much as 
you can into the bites. This is the secret of all 
the turns : dip, rise, dip— bend, stretch, bend. 
Be as light as possible as you rise for the turn, 
and "sit down" hard on the second curve. 



A THREE, although a change of direction, 
front and edge, is almost entirely a shoulder 
figure. If, on a long curve, your shoulders 
are rotated just enough more to shorten the radius 
of the curve so as to compel a turn, and the mo- 
ment you find the turn is sure to come, are rotated 

FIG. 24. 

FIG. 25. 

back into normal position (a movement necessary 
to prevent the second curve from curling in), the 
feet will take care of themselves on f edges, f 
threes, then, are made without assistance from 
the free foot; but b threes, which are more dif- 
ficult, not only require a more vigorous rotation 
of the shoulders and conscious muscular effort to 
flip the skating foot round on the heel, but are 
helped both at the turn and on the second curve 
by a swing of the free foot. The shoulders and 
free foot should be "spread-eagled" at the turn 
rather more than in Figs. 24, 25. ; L 


On bob, the free foot, which is in front, is 
drawn back at the turn, describes a small loop 
in the air, and at the very moment when the 
skating leg is settling down into the rif, crosses 
diagonally over the skating foot in the same 
direction, as if brushing away with the toe a 
stone on the ice in front of it. On the kib the 

FIG. 26. O B TO I F. 

FIG. 27. I B TO O F. 

free foot, which is behind as you approach the 
turn, is carried forward and up by the strong 
rotation; and at the precise moment when the 
skating foot is flipped round on the heel to the 
o f, the free foot drives skating foot forward by 
dropping quickly down and across behind it, at 
right angles, close to the heel, into normal posi- 
tion for "bearing against" the curling in of the 
rest of the curve. (Figs. 26, 27.) 

The cooperation, to be helpful, must be pre- 
cisely simultaneous. It is even more helpful in 
facilitating the second turn of f double threes. 
The free foot remains in front in the second 


FIG. 28. O F, LOOP. 

FIG. 29. I F, LOOP. 


curve of an o b three ; but in the second curve of 
an 6 b double three it must be drawn back in 
order to facilitate the second turn (if to ob). 
The great difficulty of the I b double three is to 
get up sufficient swing from the weak initial 
thrust to carry through even the easy second 

FIG. 30. I B, LOOP. 

FIG. 31. O B, LOOP. 


I/O ops. 

100 PS are even more shoulder turns than 
threes. The beginner, however, will not 
■^ have so much difficulty in rotating his 
shoulders as in restraining the premature intru- 
sion of the swinging foot into the action. In f 
loops it should be kept back, and in b loops kept 
in front, until the strong, slow rotation of the 
shoulders rolls the diminishing curve, under 
deeply bent skating leg, into the tip of the loop. 

FIG. 32 a. LOOP-CHANGE-LOOP, R O F. Pamn. 
Jusupov Garden, St. Petersburg. 

The moment you find that the body siving is 
going to carry you "round the corner," do not 
kick, but straighten up and stiffen the skating 
leg, thereby catching the edge harder; push (f, 
or pull b) with all your weight from this edge, 
and open out the curve with a swing of the free 
foot, which now comes into efficient activity for 
the first time. 

The rotation which induces outside loops tends 
to shorten the curve after the loop, but the rota- 


tion which induces inside loops may be used to 
open out the curve after the loop even larger 
than the curve before. Inside loops are easier 
for this reason ; and also because, the swinging 
foot being inside, the balance is easier than in 
outside loops. In all loops the free foot describes 
in the air the same loop that the skate describes 
on the ice. Outside loops are made by the rota- 
tion of the shoulders, completed by the swing- 
ing foot; inside loops, by pressure of the free 


FIG. 32 b. LOOP-CHANGE-LOOP, R I F. Panin. 
Jusupov Garden, St. Petersburg. 

foot against the curve, assisted by the rotation 
of the shoulders. (Figs. 28-31). 

The test of a well-executed turn is what you 
can do with the resulting curve. With American 
beginners, the turn itself is likely to be thought 
the whole figure ; but in the "new" skating the 
turn is only a third of the figure, or less. The 
whole figure consists of a well-executed big curve 
before the turn, a correct turn, and a big curve 
after the turn, under perfect control, in normal 


position for any succeeding combination — cor- 
responding parts of equal size, symmetrically 
placed in a big eight. But the turn must be 
learned first. (Fig. 32, a and 6.) 

Rocking Turns. 

THE turns which connect two independent 
curves are called rocking turns because the 
body at the turn rocks backward or forward 
while the change of curve is restoring the equilib- 
rium. In this respect they are alike ; and they also 
have in common a special characteristic caused 
by the extreme rotation, — the forced or rocking 
curve on one edge (or false serpentine, apparent 
change of edge),— -but they have obvious external 
differences ; thus, a slight extra screw rotation of 
the shoulders, you know, will carry a rof on 
to the eib without any assistance of the free 
foot (a f three, Fig. 16, c). An unscrew rotation of 
the shoulders on the same eof will force the 
curve on the same edge up to a turn (6).* If, 
now, you drop on to the bob without a change 
of edge, you make a counter rocking turn (e); 
but if you lift your heel, flip the foot round on 
the toe one hundred and twenty degrees and drop 
on to the rib, you make a counter three, or 
bracket (/), because the rotation is counter to 
that required for a three. 

If, again, you rotate as for a three (c), but 
instead of dropping on to the bib, lift the 
heel and flip the foot round on the toe one hun- 
dred and eighty degrees on to the bob without 
a change of edge, you make a rocker (d). There 

* A small "freak" eight may be skated by 
this counter rotation all on the outside edqe^ 
the body in the second circle being outside 
the curve ! 


must be no change of edge in the curve before 
or after a rocking turn. The change of edge 
in the bracket is not in the curves, but as in the 
three, at the turn. 

The best way, perhaps, to learn to skate these 
rocking turns at first is with slow-moving free 
foot, as in the three. The secret of them all is 
(1) to screw (or unscrew) the shoulders round 
just as far as you can before the turn ; (2) to 
take as much weight off the ice as you can by 
straightening the bent leg at the turn ; and (3) 
to flip the foot round quickly about one hundred 
and eighty degrees and "sit down" on the curve 
after the turn. Then the print is light and 
noiseless, no pace is lost by grinding into the 
ice, and the second curve may be held without 
conspicuous effort. Therefore, ability to "Eng- 
lish" the shoulders, "spring" the knee, and 
"spread-eagle" the ankle is here absolutely 
indispensable. (Figs. 33-35 and 44-49.) 

j „j i- 



The inside rockers and counters are easier 
than the outside. The back rockers are easier 
than the forward, if you get your weight right 
over the turn, or a little in advance of it. In 
counters, the farther away from the turn the 
center of gravity is, the better for the resulting 
curve if you can flip the turn without catching. 


The curve gives less trouble than the turn itself, 
especially the back counters. (Figs. 36-38.) 



^The more difficult part of the rocker and of 
the counter, put together, make a bracket ; the 
back brackets, therefore, are probably the hard- 
est turns on the ice to skate clean and large — you 
must feel the toe on the f brackets and the heel 
on the b brackets. The greatest difficulty of all 
is to attain big symmetrical eights with correct 
turns inserted in the right place. (Figs. 39-41.) 


The only danger of learning the rocking turns 
in the above way is, perhaps, of not avoiding 
all imperfections in the resulting curve. Having 
mastered the turn,— which is of prime importance, 
— first with inactive or slow-moving free foot, 
you may now enlist the aid of the swinging free 
foot for the sake of control of the second edge. 
A more or less active 1-2-3 pendulum swing of 


the free foot (with the changing balance due to 
the rock and the rotation), f-b-f or b-f-b, takes 
place simultaneously with the dip-rise-dip (bend- 
stretch-bend) of the skating leg, in the execution 
by all the first-class skaters I saw in Europe, 
Salchow included, of all the rocking turns except 
the eof rocker and the kof bracket. 

FIG 42. SWING 2 FIG. 43. SWING 3 


Dr. Gilbert Fuchs, Munich, World Champion, 1906. 

As Fuchs rocks back before the turn of a 
eof rocker, the free foot, which has been 
behind, in normal position, is swung forward; 
the f rotation of the shoulders and the rock 
forward at the turn bring it back quickly close 
to the skating foot, and behind, just as the 
skating foot darts f to the turn ; and then, just 
before the skating foot bites into the back edge 
after the turn, it shoots up quickly forward, into 
normal position for an independent back curve— 
with free foot in front. (Figs. 42, 43.) 


The shoulders, however, are all unwound by 
the turn, and he has only his hip with which to 
pull the free foot round on the new back curve ; 
but there is a "catapult twist" in it, and there- 
fore much more power, than if the hip and free 
foot are already round, as in the Salchow rocker. 

F!G. 44. 

FIG. 45. 


The latter is now the more popular ; for, since 
the second curve comes off at the turn without 
any forced curve, there can be no suspicion of 
a change of edge. Salchow carries his free foot 
in front, highest and farthest round just at the 
turn, when it drops behind, along with the left 
hand, shoulder and hip, and the curve is skated 
out entirely by a forced body swing. (Figs. 44-9.) 

We have already seen that the balance compels 
a similar abandonment of the normal swing of 
the free foot in an initial i b circle, from rest. 
We have seen also how a "seesaw" swing of the 
free foot will expedite a turn from i b to o f. If, 
now, you will compare these initial back curva* 


FIG3. 46, 47. THE SALCHOW ROCKER. Meyer. 

with the i b curve that comes off an i f counter, 
where the rotation is normal, you will understand 
how many conditions of swing, balance and 
rotation must be taken into account in determin- 
ing how a school figure may be skated. (Fig. 38.) 



If all the elements worked as harmoniously 
together in the rof rocker and bracket as in the 
rest of the turns, there would probably be no 
exception to Fuchs's logical, systematic school ; 
but to assert, as he does, that "every independent 
circle should always be skated in the same 
way" ; that "the turn cannot and ought not to 
exert any essential influence upon the skating of 
the curve" ; and that "every figure should always 
be skated with equal cooperation of body, ska- 
ting leg and free leg," — when sometimes the free 
leg must be left out, as in a change of edge after 
an if loop or o b three, and may be left out, as 
in o f rocker and o f bracket,— is to overwork 

Fuchs's swings no more make his forced curve 
a change of edge than Salchow's rocker without 
forced curve becomes a beak rocker, and there- 
fore a special figure, because not prescribed by 
the school diagram. There may be two righj" 
ways of skating one school figure (as of pro- 
nouncing one word, e. g., "either") ; and Fuehs's 
way, although harder, may be superior to Sal- 
chow's, because the skater is in better form after 
the turn to skate succeeding combinations, al- 
though they be not yet prescribed by the school. 

The fact that Fuchs has never beaten Salchow 
does not prove his theory wrong, or Salchow's 
skating right for all time. But this much seems 
true: The "school" is not established for the 
arbitrary enforcement of the use of the coopera- 
tive aids in exactly the same way under all cir- 
cumstances—the assisting elements are available 
for adaptation to varying conditions of balance 
and swing, in the interest of the school; and 
artistic skating does not exist for a prescribed 
school, but the school exists for the interests ol 
artistic skating. 


///. The School Figures and 
How to Skate Them. 

Official Requirements. 

THE School or Prescribed Figures are the 
foundation of artistic skating— whether 
practised alone, in pairs, or in groups. You 
should begin, therefore, with some knowledge of 
the official standards of excellence and of the 
ways the best performers have attained it. 

According to the latest regulations of the Inter- 
national Skating Union, revised at the tenth 
congress in Amsterdam, June 14-16, 1909 : 

§67. . . . Correct tracing on the ice ranks 
first; carriage and movement, second; size of 
the figure, third ; and place, approximately accu- 
rate covering of the traces in the triple repetition, 

§68. As rules for correct tracing are to be 
regarded: Maintenance of the long and trans- 
verse axes in the triple repetition; approxi- 
mately equal size of the first and second halves 
of the eight, divided by the transverse axis; 
symmetrical grouping of the individual parts 
of the figure about the axes ; curves without sub- 
curves, skated out to the end* L e., returning 
nearly to the starting-point. . . . 

International Good Form. 

§69. As rules for correct carriage and move- 
ment in skating the prescribed figures (within 
which rules the individuality of the skater receives 
fair play and all possible consideration on the 
part of the judges) are to be regarded : 


1. Head erect, with eyes upon the ice seldom 
or never during the free-skating, and in the school- 
skating no more than is absolutely necessary. 

2. Arms, whether active (assisting the move- 
ment) or passive (poised during long, big curves), 
should have free play from the shoulders, elbows 
slightly bent, hands with palms downward or 
inward. (See frontispiece, Figs. 50, 51.) 

3. Body upright, not bent forward or side wise 
from the hips, shoulders thrown back, and chest 

4. Skating Leg always bent at the knee, to 
insure a springy rise and dip of the body. 

5. Free Leg poised or swung entirely from 
the hip, in the socket of which it should be 
turned outward and backward as much as pos- 
sible; always separated from the skating leg, 
knee slightly bent, toe pointing down and out. 

In the light of what has gone before, then, the 
following condensed but comprehensive direc- 
tions of how to skate each school figure are 
offered more for reliable instruction than for 
entertaining reading. Therefore, that they may 
be still more serviceable on the ice, in compact 
compass, the following are used for 


b, backward or behind ; f, forward or in front ; 
I, inside edge; o, outside edge; r, right; l, 
left; a., arm; h., hand; f., foot; 1., leg; Sh., 
shoulder ; Fr-, free ; Sk-, skating ; Sw-, swing- 
ing ; t., turn ; w., with. The numerals on the 
left are the official numbers; on the right, in 
square brackets, the factor of value according to 
the difficulty of the figure. (Revision of 1909.) 



Start of all eights, nearly perpen- 
dicular to the long axis. Full circles. 

1. hof, lof[1]. Head looking 
over r Sh., f, l Sh., b ; Fr-f., crossed 
over behind the bent Sk-L, "bearing 
against the curve," is swung f, % way 
through the circle, by screw rotation, 
as Sk-1. straightens and body rocks b. 
l o f, similar. (Figs. 2, 17.) 

2. rif, lif [1]. Head over l Sh., f, or 
toward center, r Sh., b ; Fr-f., crossed behind bent 
Sk-1., "bearing against the curve," is swung f, 
V 2 way through the circle, by unscrew rotation, 
close to the Sk-f. and across again, f, as Sk-1. 

straightens and body rocks b. l i f, similar. 

(Figs. 5, 18, 29, 50.) 

3. rob, lob[1]. Thrust from i edge w. 
deep knee-bending; head over l Sh., which 
"unscrews" before l hip does; Fr-f., f, during 
first V 2 circle, is drawn b by hip and held behind 
Sk-1., which gradually straightens, as the body 
rocks f, ready to swing b w. initial vigor on to 
next curve. l o b, similar. (Fig. 20.) 

4. rib, lib [2]. Feet toeing in, r sometimes 
swung across l, before b thrust from l i edge 
(almost with spring), deep knee-bending, r Sh. 
drawn b for balance, w. outstretched r arm. 
Fr-f. remains f, but, before V 2 circle, is drawn b 
as Sk-1. straightens, and body rocks f, head 
toward center. l i b, similar. (Fig. 19.) 





Change of 

Change effected by push of Sk-l. 
from shoulders, not by kick of Fr-l. 
Arms at change as low as possible. 

5a. koif, l i o f [1]. y 2 circle, b 
Sh., f, Fr-f., b ; screw r Sh., b, w. 
b rock, dip Sk-l. and swing Fr-f. f as 
Sk-l. rises to the change, then b and 
across behind as Sk-l. dips into if 
edge, w. f rock, l Sh. and a. stretched 

f, to unscrew as in 2. y 2 circle 

lif, b Sh. f, Fr-f. b ; screw r Sh. 
b, Fr-f. f, dip Sk-l. w. b rock, and 
as Sk-l. rises to the change, draw Fr-f. 
B, and then stretch it across, as Sk-l. dips into 
L o f, w. F rock, ii Sh. and a. f, to unscrew. 
56. l o i f, r i o f [1]. Similar. (Figs. 21-23.) 
6a. koib, L i o b [2]. l / 2 R o b, unscrew l 
Sh. and Fr-f. b ; dip Sk-l. w. f rock and, as 
Sk-l. rises to the change, swing Fr-f. f and 
across as Sk-l. dips into i b, w. b rock, l Sh. 

and a. well b for screw rotation. % lib, 

unscrew l Sh. and Fr-f. b ; dip Sk-l. w. f rock, 
and as Sk-l. rises to the change, swing Fr-f. f 
and across inside the new curve (as Sk-l. dips 
into o b w. b rock), to be pulled out by the screw 
rotation of l Sh. and a., starting well b. 
66. loib, riob[2]. Similar. 

Second curve as big as first ; deep 
points in the long axis. Spread- 
eagle the feet at the turn. 

\\^ ^_y 7. EOF — IB, LOF-IB [1]. 

Screw rotation, increased to compel 
turn, brings Fr-f. f, but not assist- 
ing. (Immediately before actual 
turn, while learning to skate big, draw b l Sh. 
and look hard over it.) In combinations, pace 
may be gained by swinging Fr-f. f into the turn, 
and b out of it. l o f — i b, likewise. (Fig 24.) 



8a. r o f— i b, l i b—o f [2]. First turn like 
7; transition to lib w. deep knee-bending, un- 
screw rotation ; at end of i b, swing Fr-f. up f, 
and, simultaneously w. flip of Sk-f . to o f, drive 
the Sk-f. f by dropping Fr-f. down b, at right 
angles, close to heel of Sk-f. and across the curve. 
(Fig. 27.) 

86. l o f— i b, r i b—o f [2]. Likewise. 

9a. r i f— o b, lo b — i f [1], Unscrew rota- 
tion, Fr-f. b and across without assisting; or 
dropped in f, at the turn, inside the curve, to be 

pulled out by the unscrew o b rotation. l o b, 

screw rotation ; approaching the turn, Fr-f. f is 
drawn b, describes a loop in the air, and simul- 
taneously with flip of Sk-f. to 1 f, scoops diago- 
nally down across Sk-f., in same direction, toeing 
down and out. (Fig. 26. Cf. Figs. 21, 22.) 

96. lif-ob, rob— if [1]. Likewise. 

double Three curves approximatelyalike, 

threes. long axis bisecting middle curve at 
right angles. 

10. R O F— I B—O F,LO F— I B— 

U ~^_y o f [1]. Abandon yourself to good 
swing, knees springy at turns. Fr-f . 
movement of 8a even more helpful 

here, at second turn. l o f, etc., 

11. rif— ob— if, lif — ob-if[1]. First 

three without movement of Fr-f. ; but Cf . 9a 

(first half). Second three easier if you lift Fr-1. 

almost to right angles at knee, toes down ; or 

better, as in 9a (second half). 

12. ROB— IF— OB, L O B— I F— O B [1]. First 

three, Fr-f. loop in air, as in 9a ; second three as 
usual, or w. drop of Fr-f. inside o b curve (9a) ; 
or both threes w. Fr-f. behind all the time. 

13. RIB— OF— IB, LIB— OF— IB [2]. First 

turn, as in 8a ; second turn as in 7 (at end). 


Almost a jump to lib, w. deep knee-bending. 
Acquire confidence to lunge hard upon strong 
b edge, with continuous swing. 

FIG. 52. O B LOOP. Salchow. 

loops Oval, continuous curves, bisected 
by long axis. Keep Fr-f . out of action 
until the turn of the loop is assured 
solely by means of body swing. 

14. R o F, lof [2]. Strong, slow, 
screw rotation, body leaning f, knee 
strongly bent, up to the turn of the 
loop, then straightened to catch strong edge ; w. 


consequent acceleration of speed, draw Fr-f. into 
action, and abandon body to fresh swing, which 
skates out the second curve. (Figs. 28, 32, a. b.) 

15. eiFj.lif [2]. Strong, slow, unscrew ro- 
tation ; Fr-f. similarly held b until drawn f close 
to Sk-f., toeing out (i.e., accompanied by internal 
(anatomical) outward rotation of its own, at hip 
and at ankle-joint). (Fig. 29.) 

16. rob, lob [2]. Unscrew rotation, deep 
knee-bending until time to straighten and pull b 
Fr-f. which has been carried way round f, toeing 
in. (Figs. 30, 52., a remarkable photo of Salchow.) 

17. rib, lib [2]. Screw rotation, moderate 
knee-bending, Fr-f. drawn b, close to Sk-f., 
accompanied by internal bone rotation of its 
own, like 15. Fr-f., f, until % loop. (Fig. 31.) 

brackets. Change of edge only at t., on 
the long axis, curves symmetrical. 
Knee-bending after the turn deeper 
A ) than before ; body, right over the t., 

N ^~~ lightest as knee straightens for rise 

at the turn. Feel the toe in f 
brackets, and the heel in b brackets. 
(Figs. 36, 37.) 
18a. rof— ib, lib— of [3]. At end of a 
normal rof the Fr-f. is f (swing 1); strong 
counter rotation (unscrew) pulls it quickly b 
(swing 2) close by Sk-f., which at the same time 
shoots up to the turn on a forced curve ; Sk-f. 
then flips quickly round on toe (120°) to i b and, 
as Sk-1. dips into the new edge, the Fr-f. darts f 
(swing 3) into normal position for ib,l Sh. % b. 

At end of lib, Fr-f. is b (swing 1) ; strong 

screw rotation (r Sh., b) pulls it f (swing 2) close 
by Sk-f., which at the same time darts b to the 
turn on a forced curve ; Sk-f. then flips quickly 
round on heel (120°) to o f and, as Sk-1. dips into 
the o f edge, the Fr-f. shoots b (swing 3) into 


normal position for lof, l Sh.,F. Salchow 
skates the o f bracket (like the o f rocker below) 
without swing of Fr-f . The turn is made under 
the Fr-f., f, which is merely dropped b after the 
t., over the Sk-1., heel out, to "bear against the 
curve." (Cf. Figs. 36 to 41.) 
186. lof— ib, bib— of [3]. Similar. 
19a. rif-ob, lob — if [3]. Beware of 
thrusting from an ib after the turn. Swing 1, 
f, at end of normal rif; swing 2, b, strong 
screw rotation, forcing curve to the turn ; swing 

3, f, as Sk-1. dips down into rob edge. 

lob, swing 1, b, at end ; swing 2, f, strong 
unscrew rotation, forcing curve to the turn; 
swing 3, b again, as Sk-1. dips into lif edge. 
196. lif— ob, bob— if [3]. Similar. 
rockers Ability to "spread-eagle" 

the Sk-f. at the turn, the 
greatest single aid; other- 
wise, great difficulty arising 
from too much rotation 
(which spoils the second 
^^ J V J curve), or too wide swinging 

of Fr-f. (which spoils the 
turn). A slow, gradual move- 
ment of Fr-f., and quick 
l Fuchs 2 salchow turn, perhaps the easiest way 
to begin with. Bend of knee 
deeper after the turn than 
before it ; the weight of the 
bodypresses least at the turn. 
20a. EOF- OB, lob — 
o f [4]. Method 1. (Fuehs's, 
hardest, but most systematic 
and consistent.) y 2 circle 
rof, Fr-f. b ; toward end 
Swings of the Fr-f. (Fig. 3, 1) body rocks B, Fr-f. 
f (swing 1) ; just before turn (Fig. 3, 2) strong, 


slow rotation (l a. stretched out f, r a. down 
b) w. rock f, pulls Fr-f . b (swing 2) close by Sk-f . 
(Fig. 4 ; not wide, as Fig. 5), which darts f on 
curve of shortened radius to the turn; rapid 

F!G. 53, SIDE. FIG. 54, FRONT. FIG. 55, FRONT. 

Swing, Fuchs., Twist, Meyer. 

Which is the more graceful approach to the turn ? 

reversal of rotation (unscrew, l, h. down b, r a. 
stretched out f) simultaneously with quick flip 
of Sk-f. round on f part of skate, carries Fr-f. f 
and up (swing 3) as Sk-1. dips into ob, w. b 
rock of body (Fig. 3, 3). It is easier to rock, 
swing, and turn, than it is to catch this back 
edge hard enough to counteract the first rotation. 
Therefore, "sit down" on it hard, look way 
over your l shoulder, and try to put your l 
hand into your r trousers pocket ! The balance, 
too, is hard, w. Fr-f. in front and shoulders all 
unwound ; but if you flip your skate far enough 
round to continue the original curve, the twist in 
the hip will enable you to pull the Fr-f. back on 
a normal o b curve under perfect control. (Figs. 
42, 43, 53, 54, the Fuchs's rocker.) 

Method 2. Salchow, after swing 1, simply 
carries the Fr-f. higher and farther round f, 
makes the turn under it, drops the Fr-f. behind 
the Sk-f., and skates out the second curve solely 
by body swing. (Figs. 44, 45. Cf. Figs. 46-49.) 

Method 3 (similar). Since the Salchow print 
is at present more popular, beginners may get it 


more easily, and perhaps ( ?) as gracefully, by 
intensifying a slow and gradual rotation and a 
rapid (spread-eagle) flip of the Sk-f. (Figs. 
53-55. Cf. Figs. 46-49.) 

Second half (less difference in method). y 2 
lob, f rock, Fr-f. b (swing 1); just before t., 
strong screw rotation (k h. down b, l a. stretched 
out f) w. b rock (in the direction of the curve, 
weight over, or ahead of, Sk-f.) pulls Fr-f. f 
(swing 2) close to Sk-f., which shoots b on curve 
of shortened radius to the t. (behind the weight) ; 
rapid reversal of rotation (unscrew, r h. down 
B, l a. stretched out f) simultaneously with 
quick flip of Sk-f. round on heel of skate, car- 
ries Fr-f. round; and up b (swing 3) just as Sk-1. 
dips hard into o f edge, catching up w. body, 
swinging f w. strong momentum. 

206. l o f— o b, bo b— o f [4]. Similar. 

21a. BIF— IB, LIB— IF [4]. Y 2 RIF, B 

rock, Fr-f. f (swing 1) ; just before turn, strong 
unscrew rotation (l h. down b, b a. stretched 
out f) w. f rock, pulls Fr-f. b (swing 2) close by 
Sk-f., which shoots f on curve of shortened 
radius to the t. ; rapid reversal of rotation (screw, 
b h. down b, l a. stretched out f) simultane- 
ously w. quick flip of Sk-f. on f part of skate, 
carries Fr-f. f, as you swing b on deep-bent Sk-1. 
into i b edge. Look hard over r Sh., and try to 

put b hand into l hip pocket! y 2 lib, p 

rock, Fr-f. b (swing 1) ; just before turn, strong 
unscrew rotation (l h. down b, r a. stretched f) 
w. b rock (in the direction of the curve, weight 
over or ahead of Sk-f.) pulls Fr-f. f close by Sk-f., 
which darts b on curve of shortened radius to 
the t. ; rapid reversal of rotation (screw, r h. 
down b, l a. stretched out f) simultaneously w. 
quick flip of Sk-f. on b part of skate, carries Fr-f. 
b and across (swing 3) just as Sk-1. dips hard 



into I f edge, catching up w. body swinging f. 

(Figs. 33-5.) 
216. lif-ib, rib— if [4]. Likewise. 

counters The difficulty is not to hold the 
second curve, but to acquire confidence 
to make the catchy turn far enough 
from under the center of gravity to 
escape a change of edge. Light knee- 
bending, and rather slow-moving Fr-f . 

22a. ROF-OB, LOB— OF [3]. % 

R o f, at end, Fr-f. f (swing 1) ; strong 
counter rotation forces Sk-f.up to the 
t., w. f rock, Fr-f. b (swing 2) ; rapid 
intensification of rotation, (unscrew, l 
h. down b, r a. stretched out f) then a sudden 
flick of Sk-f. round b on f part- of skate, simul- 
taneously w. f movement of Fr-f. (swing 3), as 
Sk-1. dips hard into ob edge,: catching up w. 
body swinging b. Immediate pull b of Fr-f. by 
l hip (swing 4) increases the swing of the r o b 

curve. y 2 lob, f rock, Fr-f. b (swing 1); 

strong counter rotation (unscre^, l h. down b, 
r a. stretched out f) forces Sk-f j b to the t., w. 
B rock, Fr-f. f (swing 2) ; then a! sudden flick of 
Sk-f. f on b part of skate, simultaneously w. b 
movement of Fr-f. (swing 3) just as Sk-1. dips 
into o f, catching up w. body, swinging f. Im- 
mediate pull f of Fr-f. by r hip (swing 4) increases 
swing of l o f. ; 

226. lof-ob, rob— if [3]. Likewise. 

23a. RIF — IB, LIB — IF T3]. Y 2 RIF at 

end, w. b rock, Fr-f. f (swing 1J; strong counter 
rotation (screw, r h. down b, l a. stretched f) 
forces Sk-f. up to the t. w. f rock, Fr-f. b to 
Sk-f. (swing 2) ; then a sudden flick of Sk-f 
round b on f part of skate, simultaneously with 
reversal of rotation (unscrew, l h. down b, r a. 
stretched out f) and f swing of Fr-f. (swing 3), 


just as Sk-1. dips into i b, catching up w. body 
swinging b. Immediate normal (screw) rotation 
of shoulders pulling Fr-f . b, increases the swing 

of k i b curve. % lib,b rock, Fr-f. f (swing 

1) ; strong counter rotation (screw, r h. down b, 
l a. stretched f) forces Sk-f . b to the t. ; then 
sudden flick of Sk-f. f on b part of skate, simul- 
taneously with reversal of rotation (unscrew, l h. 
down b, r a. stretched f) and pull of Fr-f. Band 
across (swing 3), just as Sk-1. dips into if, 
catching up w. body swinging f. Immediate 
normal (screw) rotation of shoulders, pulling 
Fr-f. f, increases swing of lif. 

Simultaneous Cross Movements. 

THE knack of getting these rhythmical cross- 
balance movements of the Fr-f., Sk-f. and 
shoulders together in the nick of time is 
difficult to learn from description, and not easy to 
imitate from observation. The systematic way is 
often hardest in the beginning, but most econom- 
ical in the end. Will to learn, intelligent apprecia- 
tion of the underlying principles, and industrious 
practise are necessary for success in any style. 
Just at present, in nearly all figures, the fashion, 
due to the dominating influence of the Swedes, is 
toward "skating out of the body," i.e., w. inten- 
sified shoulder-rotation, knee-bend, and ankle- 
twist, and consequently reduced activity of the 
swinging foot. This method is absolutely neces- 
sary in acquiring the continuous swing and self- 
generating glide that connects most of the turns 
into the following combinations. In some of 
them the turn is easier with the change of edge 
than without it; and if you have learned the 
curves and turns above, persevering practise, 
rather than instruction, is needed for perfecting 


the rest. The mere enumeration of the remain- 
ing figures will, in the main, be all that is neces- 
sary. (When the letters indicate the first curve 
only on each foot, the other curves and turns may 
readily be inferred from the official diagrams.) 

24a K oif, liof[2] 

b LOIF, R I O F [2] 

\V J 25a boib, liob[3] 

b LOIB, riob[3] 
Alternate-foot, not continuous, and 
therefore large, without kick of Sw-f. 
Same as 5 and 6, only in full circles, w. 
stronger bend of Sk-knee, and deeper 
cross-balance swing of Fr-f . after the 
change, which should be soft and noiseless, 
without tearing the ice. 



26a R O I F . . . L O IB [2] 

6 loif...riob[2] 
27a riof...liob[3] 


28a roif...liof[1] 


29a R O I B . . . L I O B [3] 
b LOIB. . . RIOB [3] 



30a R O I F . 
b LOIF . 

31a roib . 

b LOIB . 

. . L I O F [2] 
. . R I O F [2] 
. . L I O B [3] 
. . R I O B [3] 

32a R o I F 


33a R I o f 


L O I B [3] 
ROIB [3] 
L I O B [3] 




(The Four 


8,9+5,6=34, 5 

and much 


34a. ROF— IOB— IF, LIF— OIB— 

of [3], Open out i b by drawing l 
Sh. b and extending Fr-f. b and 
across ; then w. deep bend of Sk-1. 
push hard w. all the weight, 
straighten lightly to the change, and 
as Fr-f. goes f, "sit down" on ob; 
unscrew still more for the turn and 
pull the Sw-f. into a loop in the air 
as in 96. Then lif~ob, w. 

Fr-f. b ; the change to i b, therefore, 
must be made entirely by Sk-1. and 
shoulders (screw) as Fr-f. goes f and up, to drop 
b sharply at second t., as in 8a, and drive Sk-1. 
into o f. [Similar. 

346. L O F-— I O B— I F, R I F— O I B— O F [3]. 
35a. BOB-IOF-IB, LIB— OIF— OB [3], 

First t. w. loop in air and scoop of Sw-f. F (as in 
96); change, therefore, made entirely by Sk-1. 
and shoulders |(unscrew), Fr-f. b, then swung f 

to the t. (in combination, as in 7). l i b — o f, 

Fr-f., b, may assist change to i f, but should not 
be kicked. [Similar. 

356. L O B-^1 O F— I B, R I B— O I F— O B [3]. 

In the next, 36, 37, on account of loss of "go" 
from so many curves and turns, the threes must 
be skated with active Sw-f. to increase the swing, 
especially of the second double three. 




36a EOF 
6 LOF 

37a rob 

6 LOB 

38a rof 

6 LOF 

39a ROB 

6 LOB 

LIF [4] 


LIB [5] LOOP. 

RIB [5] (See Fig. 82.) 


It is important to come out of the loops on a 
full symmetrical curve; therefore, keep Fr-f. 
back (or f) and make changes chiefly with shoul- 
ders and Sk-1. Changes after f loops and loops 
after b clianges require much patient piactise. 

bracket 40a rof. . . lif [4] 

BUCKET. b I.OF...BIF [4] 

41a ROB ... LIB [5] 
LOB ... RIB [5] 

U J Perfect command of both the turn 

and the change essential. Do not 
begin the serpentine until you can 
hold the second edge of the first 
bracket in good form, or you will 

have no power to do the second bracket, 

especially in 41 a, b. 

The following tests have been adopted by various 
skating clubs and amateur skating associations. 
The choice of alternative figures shall be made by 
the judges at the time of the test, and shall not be 
known to applicants beforehand. 

1. OF Eight, No. 1; 2. IF Eight, No. 2; 3. 
B Eight, No. 3; 4. if Changes, No. 5 a or b; 
5. f Threes, No. 7, or No. 9 a or b. 

1. B Eights, No. 4; 2. B Changes, No. 6 a or b; 
3. B Threes, No. 8 a or b; 4. f Double- Threes, No. 
10 or 11; 5. F Loops, No. 14 or 15; 6. F Brackets, 
No. 18 a or b; 7. F One-foot Eight, No. 24 a or b; 
8. o i Change-Three, No. 26 a or b; 9. I o Change- 
Three, No. 27 a or b' : lO. f Three-Change-Three, 
No. 34 a or b. Original free-skating program of 
three minutes' duration. 


1. B Double-Threes, No. 12 or 13; 3. o Rockers, 
No. 20 a or b; 3. I Rockers, No. 21 a or b; 4. o 
Counters, No. 22 a or b ; 5. I Counters, No. 23 a or 
b; 6. B Three-Change-Three, No. 35 a or 6; 7. f 
Loop-Change-Loop, No. 38 a or 6; 8. B Zoop- 
Change-Loop, No. 39 a or 6; 9. F Bracket-Change- 
Bracket, No. 40 a or b (or 32 a or b) ; 10. b Bracket- 
Change-Bracket, No. 41 a or & (or 33 a or 6). Origi- 
nal free-skating program of four minutes , duration. 

47 ' 





George H. Browne 

Cambridge Skating Club 

International Skating Club, Davos 


[To preserve in a convenient but makeshift 
binding, paste this page directly upon the last 
page of the booklet. Copies will be furnished 
owners of the booklet jree of cost upon applica- 
tion to Browne® Nichols School, Camb., Mass.} 

IV. Free Skating. 

THE prescribed school skating has been 
aptly called the grammar of skating. The 
artistic qualities— style, originality, indi- 
viduality—are, in the international style, dis- 
played in the free skating : field figures to music 
at the choice of the performer, in which he 
demonstrates his ability as an artist without any 
restrictions, except the limited space of the ska- 
ting surface and such time-limitation as competi- 
tion conditions may impose. 

Every football and baseball player cheerfully 
accepts signal-practise and tackling the dummy, 
batting-practise and fielding flies and grounders, 
no matter how tedious, as necessary preparation 
for the game. The spectators are more inter- 
ested in the results of this practise as displayed 
in the actual performance on the gridiron or the 

One of the East Indian rajas at King Edward's 
coronation, when asked what part of the music 
he liked best, replied, "The tuning-up before 
the concert began." Now, at a musical enter- 
tainment we take for granted, on the evidence 
of the artistic performance as a whole, the tedi- 
ous, patient mastering of the elements, which 
alone has made artistic success possible, without 
requiring any further specific test of it. Why, 
then, it may be asked, in an exhibition of 

Fig. 1. The Engelmann star, to music— Salchow. 
Fig. 2. Rocker, change-loop-change, counter, three 
and hack three, march— Salchow. Fig. 3. Continuous 
rocker-counter spectacles, or Brille— Hugel. Fig. 4. 
Rocker and hack three, scratch, change, counter, 
three and hack three, march— Salchow. Fig. 5. The 
Jackson Haines spin — /. Brokaw. (Figs. 3 and 6, 
courtesy of Mr. Brokaw.) 


artistic skating, should 
so much more weight 
be given to skating the 
elements than to dis- 
playing invention, 
taste, grace and artis- 
tic feeling — for the 
school skating has 
practically decided all 
the championships of 
the last ten years? 

The public always 
cares more for the 
free skating and the 
graceful skater than 
for the technical skater 
and the accurate mas- 
tery of uninteresting 
eights, no matter how 

The American the- 
ory that a champion 
should be able to show 
his mastery of all 
branches of the art at once, exacted such tedious 
practise and produced such boresome exhibitions, 
that the program defeated its own ends, for both 
skater and spectator. 

In order to bring the schedule within skatable 
limits, however, instead of maintaining the origi- 
nal principle of including all possible movements 
under comprehensive heads, and then selecting a 
few fundamentals within the endurance of per- 
former and spectator alike, the authorities have 
from time to time lopped off number after 
number, until lately championships have been 
decided— by agreement — before getting to the 
original or special figures at all ! 


FIG. I. 


The selection of a few international 
school figures, which include the funda- 
mental elements, and upon the correct 
method of skating which there is sub- 
stantial agreement, undoubtedly provides 
a means of comparing merit that is less 
subject to personal taste and local preju- 
dice than any other ; but the phenomenal 
development of pair skating without any 
school skating of its own, into even 
greater popularity than the free skating 
of individual performers, is a sign, per- 
haps, that too much stress may be put 
upon school skating from the point of 
view of art. Miss Hiibler of Munich, 
world's champion in mixed pairs in 1908, 
won the European championship in pairs 
in 1909, but had to withdraw from the 
competition for the women's champion- 
ship because she was out of practise on 
the school eights ! 
On the other hand, good skaters in 
fig. 2. London and Paris are loudly protesting 
that the ice is monopolized by young 
women crazy to waltz, who cannot cut a three or 
do a back edge to save their lives! While it 
may be true that you may become a graceful 
free or pair skater without being able to do a 
loop-change-loop backward to place, it is equally 
true that you never can become an accomplished 
skater— even with no thought of competition— 
without thorough mastery of the four edges and 
the turns, combinations of which form the staple 
figures of artistic skating, whether single, or in 
pairs, or in groups. 

In the free skating, connecting elements now * 
become available, in which American expert 
skaters generally excel foreigners ; namely, spins, 


single or double, on the flat of the skate or on the 
toe (pirouettes) ; cross-foot and two-foot whorls ; 
jumps, on two feet, as in the spread-eagle jump, 
or on one foot, as in the flying turn; heel 
and toe movements, including 
pivot circling; and grape-vines 
and other two-foot twists, the 
variety of which is much greater 
here than abroad. But — and 
here is the rub— our skaters have 
never been called upon to amal- 
gamate their great variety of 
isolated figures into a harmonious 

F!Q. 3. 

coherent performance set to music, which should 
impress all who see it as an artistic unit of 
rhythmic and graceful movements. 

International free skating is officially judged 
"(a) for the content of the program performed 
(difficulty and variety) ; (b) for the manner of 
performance (harmonious composition, control, 


carriage, movement, and so forth);" and the 
same critics, who find the only artistic element 
of skating in the free skating, are urging that too 
much weight is laid upon difficulty and variety, 
and not enough upon composition, rhythm and 

The limited time, they maintain, is artistically 
filled only by a sensitive rhythmic time-division 
of the skating movements in harmony with the 
music. The limited skating surface is, as it were, 
a canvas, artistically decorated with the 
designs of the skate by curves, turns and 
strokes as by strokes of an artist's brush ; 
and like a painting, or other work of art, 
the ornamentation must achieve its high- 
est artistic success by its total impression. 
In skating, however, not as in painting, 
the way you hold your brush is quite as 
important as what you do with it; in 
other words, the characteristic and supe- 
rior esthetic beauty of skating lies in a 
noiseless, coherent, gliding movement in 
graceful pose, which appeals to the eye 
as musical sounds appeal to the ear ; so 
that, as art, skating includes not only the 
composition of the other arts of design, 
I and the harmony and rhythm of music, 
but, in addition, the poetry of motion. 

Thus, they say, the instinctive prefer- 
ence of the public for free skating over 
school skating, and for pair skating over 
the free skating of single performers, 
points with unmistakable clearness to 
the essential elements of artistic skating : 
composition, rhythm and grace. 
To tell just how to perfect oneself in 
FIQ ' 4 ' such peculiarly individual and tempera- 
mental qualities as these, is out of the question. 




AD, perhaps, that another can do, is to give the 
bald record of some recent successful programs, 
and trust to the imagination to put life into them. 

It is obvious that only those figures should be 
attempted which can be skated with abandon 
and perfect mastery of balance, swing, pace and 
edge ; only those which will produce a character- 
istic individual performance of liquid continuity. 

Here is a five-minute program which Salchow 
once skated : rof rocker jump to ob: then 
a jump lob to rif; the Engelmann star 
(Fig. 1— o b loops, over a foot long !);if three, 
back pirouette on heel, o b three, in an eight (all 
rhythmically to music) ; once back and a jump- 
complete revolution in the air ; a march (Fig. 4) 
rof rocker and lob three and biob counter, 
rocker, and repeat ; i b rocker change, spread- 
eagle ; another rocker march ; spread-eagle jump, 

complete revolution; 

rocker - counter con- 
tinuous spectacles 
(Fig. 3) ; several more 
marches ( Fig. 2 ), intri- 
cate strokes and steps 
in bewildering but 
rhythmic succession, 
ending with the 
Jackson Haines spin 
(Fig. 5), I. Brokaw. 

Gustav Hiigel, of 
Vienna, one of the 
best free skaters in 

i-...,.- . . ^...i, ..-,.■ ; .. ...iv'.'a 

Europe, gives these fiq. B . 

suggestions, among 

others: "Try to arrange your program with 
regard to harmonious effect and variety ; avoid 
repeating too often figures consisting of the same 
kind of movements. Combine short, quick steps 


with longer curves, to avoid tediousness to spec- 
tators and judges. See to it that before and 
after each difficult figure some easy one is inter- 
posed, such as a grape-vine, dance step, and so 
forth, in order that, when nearing the end, the 
skater may not show signs of fatigue. In dance 
steps never make more than one round of the same 
kind ; make only two or three eights of the same 
kind. The various steps should take the skater 
over the entire surface ; and special figures should 
be skated as near the center as possible." (See 
Irving Brokaw's Art of Skating, Chap. V., and 
Mr. and Mrs. Syers's Book of Winter Sports, 
Skating, Chap. IV. 

Do not hurry. "The novice," says Mrs. 
Syers, "is invariably impetuous and scrambles 
from one figure to another in a breathless state 
of hurry, forgetting in her excitement position 
and carriage, thereby destroying the charm of 
her performance. Try to look happy, like Miss 
Hiibler, as if you enjoyed it. The exit should 
be carefully planned; it is well to have some 
items to spare, to fill in with if the program goes 
faster than in practise, so that the finale may be 
original and striking, and leave the skater, not 
in the middle, but at the side, if possible, facing 
the judges." 

V. Special Figures. 

THE difficult figures that make intricate pat- 
terns on the ice, but do not lend themselves 
to harmonious amalgamation into a con- 
tinuous rhythmic performance in graceful pose 
and movement, are reserved for a separate divi- 
sion of the international program— the special 
figures. Here an accurate print is of the utmost 
importance — difficulty and originality count for 
more than good form. 


Here, then, the American skater, whether inter- 
ested or not in perfecting himself in school ska- 
ting or in free skating, may find an outlet for bis 
passion to "do stunts." 

It is very good fun, too, even if they are not 
so very beautiful to look at in the doing. And 
here come into play, on sharp-rocked skates, 
those little small-curved figures that are so dear 
to the American temperament. 

The special figures usually take the form of 
crosses and— with the insertion of the serpentine 
change of edge— scrolls and stars. The only 
new element that requires to be mastered is the 
beak; and this is only a reduced-angled rocker 
or counter. 

Instead of turning at the end of the first 
curve, slow up, let the skating foot get ahead 
of the body, and then by a push from the edge 
(near the toe in f beaks) pull the skating foot 
sharply back under the body to restore the equi- 
librium. (In b beaks the pull is f by a push 
from the edge near the heel.) The swinging foot 
plays almost no part in the action. There are, 
of course, four on each foot, i and o, f and b. 

If the second curve comes back on the same 
edge outside the first (r o f), it is a rocker beak 

^ 8 

FIG. I /r/G^ FIG. 3 


(Fig. 1) ; if inside, it is a counter beak (Fig. 2) ; 
if directly over the first curve (very difficult), it is 
a hook (Fig. 3). 

t A combination of a beak and a change of edge 
(intersecting twice) makes a pig's ear (Fig. 4) ; 
a combination of two beaks, varieties of cross- 
cut v Tigs. 5, 6, 7). 


rra 4 

pro. s 



Cross-Cuts— Fig. 5, Curved (Rocker, Counter). Fig. 

6, Counter (Counter, Rocker, short cut— harder). Fig. 

7, Swedish (Counter, Rocker, long cut— very difficult). 

These off-center, curved, international cross- 
cuts are different from the regular straight-cut 
American anvils ; for in the latter the body is 
poised directly over the cut-backs, and in them 
there is a vigorous cross swing of the free foot, 
both f and b, i and o. 

The serpentine change of edge, which generates 
additional power and restores the balance and 
command of the edge at most convenient mo- 
ments, facilitates the combination of these beaks 
with the regular turns into an endless variety of 
scrolls and stars. 

The simplest are the Catani scroll (Fig. 8), 
and the bell loop (Fig. 9) and counter cross-cut 

rra v •*-*- r/a.rej 


stars (Fig. 10). From these to the most compli- 
cated is only a matter of ingenuity and indefat- 
igable practise. 

For five pages of designs, see my Handbook, 
pp. 118-122 (Barney & Berry, Springfield, Mass., 
50c.) ; and for a comprehensive chronological list, 
see G. Sanders' exposition in Brokaw's Art of 
Skating, Chap. VI., (N. Y., Scribner's, 1910, $5.) 




The International Style 



Springfield, Mass . 

EVEJR smce Mi\ Browne returned from Europe 
several years ago, with the Swedish model of 
the Jackson Haines Skate supplied him by 
Salchow, the World's Champion, he has been trying, 
with the aid of Barneyand Berry, to reproduce it in the 
popular heelrbutton, toe-clairip mount; but whatever 
the scientific explanation may be, a three-stanchion 
skate of exactly the same measurements as a two- 
stanchion skate, cannot be made to run so smoothly 
a£d easily, or be so light and graceful. Accordingly > 
Barney and Berry have installed electric machinery 
and are preparing dies to make, almost in one piece, 
the lightest, strongest, neatest, easiest-running skate 
in the world. In working out this design, Mr. Browne 
h^s taken, a hint from the old Dutch toe on Which 
Jackson Haines modeled his original skate, and the 
result is both graceful and artistic. Mr. Irving 
Brokaw, American Champion 1906, has put his recent 
European experience to practical Use in remodeling 
the toe-points and the heel and in combining ^he suc- 
cessful elements of foreign blades into the most effi- 
cient rock to which a state was ever ground.